Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.


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Teacher Blog: Stephen

 A safe place to show my socks

One of the boys who comes from a family with a history of aggressive behaviour is enjoying the carpet area. He has four pairs of socks on brought from home. He takes them off one by one. The staff are curious by the third layer. He then reveals the final pair. Pink and white. I ask him his favourite colour. With a smile and with pride he shouts ‘It’s pink.’

How pleasing that nursery is a safe environment where he can be himself. How sad that he conceals the socks prior to nursery.

Proof that we need to support boys who feel that they can’t be themselves.


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Teacher blog, Stephen: Wow! It’s working

We spend so much time formulating ideas to challenge stereotypes and perceptions of children, but are they working?

I’m sat chatting at the Playdough station with a group of older nursery children, when suddenly one of the boys asks me,

‘Do you like pink?’

‘Yes I do. That’s why I wear a pink shirt or jumper to nursery sometimes.’

‘I don’t’ he says.

‘Why?’

‘I just don’t.’

One of the girls joins in, ‘I like pink and I like all colours.’

The title of this blog is ‘Wow its working’ because although the boy doesn’t like the colour pink, he had noticed the colour of the jumper I had been wearing and wanted to talk to me about it.


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Teacher blog, Stephen: Colours mean so much

Because of a mixture of new starters and older children, the first half term in nursery is very busy, with lots of conversation as the children get to know each other.

I was cold one morning so I wore my pink/purple jumper.

I sat at a table full of maths games.

Two of the older nursery girls join me and started to play and started to giggle at my jumper.

‘What’s so funny?’ I said. ‘Its my favourite colour.’

‘Its pink, boys can’t have pink as a favourite colour.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because you’re a boy.’

Once again, these children were as young as three, but had already formed gender stereotypes regarding specific colours.

A lovely and insightful conversation.